By Greg Landman
One of the most delightful wine places to visit is Avondale in Paarl.
Owner Johnathan Grieve follows a totally holistic approach to the gifts that Mother Earth provides. Organic and biodynamic principles play a huge part—as a matter of fact are pivotal—in the way things are managed on the farm.
He uses no chemicals and any destructive, in other words unfriendly, insects are managed the natural way with lady bugs, Peregrinus, and natural bacterias. Snails are dealt with by his marvellous ducks and if you are lucky enough to see them at work—which they do with gusto—you will be enchanted by all the quacking and marshalling that goes on as they are off-loaded from the flatbeds that deliver them to the vineyards where they go off waddling and fluffing up their feathers.
The wines that winemaker Corne Marais delivers, include a superb MCC as well as a Chenin called Anima that will knock your socks off. Cyclus is a Rousanne led white blend with viognier, chenin, Semillon and chardonnay to add to its complexity—a knockout. The red blend they call Navitas—Syrah—is deliciously tangy with some spicy notes that will go well with any red meat dish. The superb restaurant called Faber which is Eric Bulpitts’s baby is attracting diners from all over while the tasting room is a most relaxing place to spend an hour or two.
So head off to the hills and get tasting at Avondale.